People in Linn County prepare for possible flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People in Linn County prepare for possible flooding

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PALO (KWWL) -

The Cedar River in Cedar Rapids crested earlier than expected at around 18 feet this weekend. It's expected to slowly fall.

The City of Palo was at flood stage before the river crested there. City officials say they believe the river will crest near 9p.m. Saturday with levels around 17 feet. Preparation began early and many believe the city is in good shape already.

It was a typical Saturday afternoon for Chad VanDorston. He mowed the lawn, a yard that's seen a lot of rain the past week which has had VanDorston keeping a close eye on the creek across the street from his home.

"You see the water rising," said VanDorston, of Palo. "You see rain in the forecast and you just, you can't predict what the water's going to do. That's what happened in 2008."

It's not just this creek in Palo that's in danger of flooding. The city has warned many they should prepare as the water levels in the Cedar River have continued to rise. The city also set up a sandbag station for anyone in the city.

"We've actually been at this since Friday and even earlier than that, working with the EMA and some other folks really watching and monitoring the river and taking necessary precautions for those folks we think may be effected," said Micah Mogle, Palo City Council.

Officials throughout Linn County are keeping an eye on the situation in Palo. The city is a good indicator for what will happen downstream in Cedar Rapids. The Linn County Board of Supervisors held an emergency meeting Saturday morning to discuss flood preparation.

"We still are confident that we're well prepared and we will take the steps necessary as the situation dictates to protect the community and the protect the county," said John Harris, Linn County Board of Supervisors.

Cedar Rapids officials are also confident they're prepared for flooding, having already set up pumps and sandbags in low-lying areas.

"We've learned a lot from our experiences in the past," said Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor. "We're better, we're stronger, and we're smarter."

VanDorston has also learned from past flooding and right now, he's just hoping the rain holds off so the nearby rivers and creeks can empty out.

"As long as the rain keeps away we'll be in pretty good shape," said VanDorston.

The City of Palo is recommending all residents plug and cover flood drains using drain plugs or plastic and sandbags to prevent any backup into their homes.

Alliant Energy also shut off the gas to some homes that may be impacted by flooding.

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